Later this month, North America will witness its first solar eclipse in more than 18 years. On May 20, the moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out most of the light from our star and blanketing much of the western United States and Canada in darkness. For astronomy buffs it promises to be quite a celestial event and most will want to take it all in while surrounded by a beautiful setting.
The National Park Service has a few suggestions for those searching for just such a setting. The NPS says that 33 of its parks will offer prime viewing opportunities with six of those falling directly in the eclipse’s path. Those six include Redwoods National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park in California; Zion National Park in Utah; Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Arizona; and Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico.
If the skies are clear that day, the parks listed above will be the absolute best places to view the eclipse, which at its peak will cover 96 percent of the sun and create a “Ring of Fire” around the edge of the moon. An additional 125 parks, mostly west of the Mississippi River, will be treated to a partial eclipse, which will also be fun to witness.
Many of the national parks are planning events for the day of the eclipse, which just so happens to fall on a Sunday. That makes it a perfect time to pack up the family and head out to a park near you for an enjoyable day with a rare light show. For a full list of events, click here.
[Photo credit: Sancho_Panza via WikiMedia]